Direct deposits of the first round of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill payments started hitting bank accounts Monday morning, and should be wrapped up tonight, and paper checks should be in the mail by the end of the week. KMXT’s Jay Barrett has more:
It’s a bittersweet milestone for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill punitive damages case. On one hand, it’s good to get a payment, but on the other, the small checks only serve to remind fishermen and others of the legal ordeal over the past 20 years.
Frank Mullen is a Homer fisherman and a financial planner:
— (EVOS 1 Frank 35 sec "… long journey for all of us.")
Jim O’Brien was a setnetters in Uyak Bay when the spill hit:
— (EVOS 2 Jim 16 sec "… I’ve got to say about that.")
He says the punitive damage payout, cut first by the 9th Circuit Court and then again earlier this year by the Supreme Court, is not going to be enough to make fishermen "whole," as Exxon had promised in the weeks after the 1989 spill.
— (EVOS 3 Jim 33 sec "… and 70 cents a pound.")
Don Fox was a setnetter in Uganik Bay. He says seeing the payment list published last month reminded him of how convoluted the whole process was:
— (EVOS 4 Don 27 sec "… I was planning on getting nothing.")
This first round of payments is going largely to setnet, driftnet and seine fishermen in Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Kodiak Island, along with Native groups. Other payments will be approved for dispersal in the new year.
With help from Casey Kelly in Homer, I’m Jay Barrett in Kodiak.